fingerreaderAll the way back in 1829, Frenchman Louis Braille came up with a tactile system that was capable of letting those who suffered from vision impairment to “read” books using the tips of their fingers, which has evolved to what we know today as the Braille system. The Braille system comprised of a series of raised dots, as the finger trails over a line of braille text, where the reader would interpret it in the same way a sighted person is able to read using ordinary letters. The thing is, Braille can be pretty tough to understand and master, and there are still plenty of reading materials that have yet to get a braille edition. MIT researchers intend to circumvent this situation by rolling out the FingerReader, which is a new piece of wearable technology that can read books out loud to those with vision problems.

The FingerReader is worn around your finger as a ring (hence its name), where you can then follow a line of text in a book or on a screen. It sports a camera which is capable of looking at the text and recognizing it, where the ring will then read whatever text is in front of it aloud to you. Should one’s finger move away from the current line that is being read, the FingerReader’s software is smart enough to recognize such a departure, resulting in haptic feedback so that you can correct your movement. Apart from that, the MIT research team intend to make it deliver on-the-spot translation capability as well in the future. [Press Release]

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